Factors That Can Affect Blood Sugar Readings
There are a few things that should be avoided because they can affect blood sugar readings.
If there isnt enough blood in the sample, the meter may not be able to accurately read the glucose content. If youre not getting enough blood from a lancet prick, tilt your arm down and allow gravity to do the work for you. When more blood enters the fingertip, the drop will most likely become a testable amount.
Expired test strips should never be used. The enzyme used is not guaranteed to be reliable past the expiration date, so the reading it will provide may not always be trusted. Using expired test strips is not worth the risk and there are cost effective options available. Using expired test strips can greatly impact the accuracy of a reading and simply should not be done.
Making sure that the testing site is clean is incredibly important in getting an accurate reading. You should always wash your hands with soap and water prior to testing. If there is oil or another substance on your skin that contaminates the blood drop, it could be read inaccurately by the meter. Its also important to follow proper sanitary procedures in order to reduce risk of infection and make sure every testing experience is as safe as possible.
What If I Have Trouble Getting To My Blood Sugar Goals
There may be times when you have trouble reaching your blood sugar goals. This does not mean that you have failed. It means that you and your health care team should see if changes are needed. Call your health care team if your blood sugar is often too high or too low. Taking action will help you be healthy today and in the future.
What If I Cant Get A Drop Of Blood For A Fingerstick
If you want to get blood from your fingertip, try washing your hands in hot water to get the blood flowing. Then dangle your hand below your heart for a minute. Prick your finger quickly and then put your hand back down below your heart. You might also try slowly squeezing the finger from the base to the tip.
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How To Do A Finger
Your healthcare team will show you how to do it the first time, but these are the key steps:
- Wash your hands with soap and warm water. Dont use wet wipes as the glycerine in them can affect the test result. Make sure your hands are warm so its easier to get blood and wont hurt as much.
- Take a test strip and slot it into the meter to turn it on. Some meters will have tests strips built in.
- Remove the cap from your finger prick device and put in a new lancet. Then put the cap back on and set the device by pulling or clicking the plunger.
- Choose which finger to prick but avoid your thumb or index finger . And dont prick the middle, or too close to a nail. Place the device against the side of your finger and press the plunger. Use a different finger each time and a different area.
- Take your meter with the test strip and hold it against the drop of blood. Itll tell you if the test strip is filled, usually by beeping.
- Before you look at your reading, check your finger. Use a tissue to stop bleeding, then use it to take out the lancet and throw it away in your sharps bin.
- You can use the same tissue to take out the test strip and throw that away too. Taking out the strip will usually turn the meter off.
Testing Blood Sugar Levels In Dogs At The Vet’s
When deciding to conduct the test at your vet’s office, you are likely to face one common problem: your pet will get more stressed. When confined in a small, unfamiliar space for an extended period, it may refuse to eat when restrained for performing the test.
This is not a normal condition for your dog, and hence, the blood sugar readings obtained may not be an accurate reflection of what your dogs blood sugar level is on a regular day.
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Test Strips Lancets And Lancet Device
Each small plastic strip contains chemicals that convert the sugar in your blood into an electric current that your meter can read. Wash your hands first, then put a test strip into your meter. Prick the side of your fingertip with a small needle called a lancet.
The lancet fits inside a lancet device. About the shape and size of a pen, itâs spring-loaded to help you prick your finger easily with just the right amount of pressure. You then squeeze a single drop of blood onto the strip, and your meter measures the sugar.
If youâre not taking insulin, your insurance might cover only a limited number of test strips. Medicare covers about one a day. Ask your doctor how you can best use your strips to learn how meals, exercise, and rest affect your blood sugar.
How Are Finger Stick Blood Tests Different From A Venous Blood Draw
In some situations, your healthcare provider may recommend a blood test by a venous blood draw, called venipuncture. This process is different from a finger stick test and is performed by trained clinical staff who draw blood from a vein in your arm.
The blood is then processed to remove red blood cells, so only the plasma is tested. Lab tests are performed on calibrated machines run by trained lab technicians, so they may provide more precise results.
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What Do I Do With The Results
You need to keep track of your results. There are a few ways you can do this. You can write them down in a record book. Use a small notebook or ask your doctor for a blood testing record book. Depending on the type of monitor you have, you may be able to keep track of the results on your computer or smartphone. Whatever method you use, you may also want to keep track of what you have eaten, when you took medicine or insulin, and how active youve been during the day. This will help you see how these things affect your blood sugar. Talk with your doctor about what is a good range for your blood sugar level and what to do if your blood sugar is not within that range.
Who Should Test Their Blood Sugar
Your health care provider will tell you if you need to test your blood sugar at home. In general, you’ll need to test your blood sugar if you have diabetes and:
- Take insulin or other medications that can cause hypoglycemia .
- Have a difficult time controlling your blood sugar.
- Suspect you have low blood sugar. Symptoms can include headache, sweating, hunger, jitteriness, confusion, dizziness, irritability, weakness or a fast or irregular heart rate.
- Experience low blood sugar without warning signs.
- Have ketones from high blood sugar.
- Are sick.
- Are pregnant.
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About 40% Who Have The Disease Don’t Know It
Are you urinating more often, feeling very thirsty, hungry, or tired? Maybe youre losing weight. You may have type 2 diabetes. To find out, you can make an appointment with your doctor and have your blood tested for the condition. Or you can go to the drug store, buy a blood glucose meter, and give yourself a diabetes test.
An estimated 40 percent of adults with type 2 diabetes dont know they have it, which means they arent getting treatment that could protect them from very serious health problems down the road, such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, and kidney failure. The best option is to go to a doctor if youre having symptoms of diabetes. But if youre reluctant to do that, for whatever reason, the next best thing is to buy an over-the-counter diabetes test kit.
“If you have a family history of diabetes, are obese, or have high blood pressure, you should test yourself for diabetes, if your doctor hasnt already done so,” says Marvin M. Lipman, M.D., Consumer Reports’ chief medical adviser. “By being a proactive person, you might save yourself a lot of grief in the future.
After you place the droplet of blood onto the test strip and insert it into the meter, youll see the results in just a few seconds. Youll need to repeat this process at least once more to make sure your reading is accurate. Heres what the numbers mean:
How Often Should I Test My Blood Sugar Level
Your family doctor will recommend how often you should test. Testing times are based on the kind of medicine you take and on how well your blood sugar levels are controlled. Youll probably need to check your blood sugar more often at first. Youll also check it more often when you feel sick or stressed, when you change your medicine, or if youre pregnant.
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How Do I Test My Blood Sugar
The usual blood sugar test involves pricking your finger with a small needle called a lancet, putting a drop of blood on a test strip, and using a meter that displays your blood sugar level. Blood sugar meters and test strips are available at your local pharmacy, through mail order, or through your health care provider. There are many different types of meters. Your health care provider can help you select the meter that is best for you. Some insurance companies might cover the cost of these supplies. Call your insurance company if you have any questions.
Home Testing Vs Medical Testing
Self-monitoring your blood sugar is crucial for determining how your diabetes is doing on a daily basis.
Its unreasonable to assume that a few tests a year at the doctors office can give an accurate portrayal of your condition because glucose levels fluctuate throughout the day. However, this doesnt mean that home tests should replace your regular preventive testing either.
In addition to self-monitoring at home, your doctor will likely recommend an A1c test. It measures how your blood glucose has been averaging over the last two to three months.
According to the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, A1c tests are ordered up to four times per year.
Getting regular lab tests can also help you determine how well youre controlling your diabetes. Theyll also help you and your healthcare team decide how often to use your home test, as well as what your target reading should be.
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Faqs: Finger Stick Blood Sugar Tests
Testing your blood sugar at home using a blood glucose meter can be simple and convenient, yet it is not uncommon to have questions. Here are some frequently asked questions about performing a finger stick test, answered by our Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist :
Q. If my number doesnt match my symptoms and I need to retest, should I use the same spot to get another drop of blood?
A. No. Prick a different finger in order to get a fresh, whole blood sample without extra fluid mixed in from too much squeezing.
Q. How many times can I use my lancet?
A. For a comfortable test, and to reduce risk of infection, change the lancet every time.
Q. Can I use alcohol to clean a lancet and reuse it?
A. No. Lancets are made with a protective antibacterial coating and using alcohol can remove it. Do not try to clean and reuse lancets.
Q. I have a favorite finger to poke that seems to hurt less than the others. Is it ok to stick the same finger at every test?
A. For the best results, rotate fingers and use each side of each finger to test with. Fingertips can become dry, cracked, and calloused with frequent blood sugar testing. You may also want to use a lotion specifically designed for people who do finger stick testing ask your healthcare provider for a recommendation.
Q. Do I have to use a lancing device? I like to just stick my finger with the lancet.
Best Times Of Day To Check Your Blood Sugar
Your blood sugar can change constantly throughout the day. Checking your blood sugar with test-strips or an FBGM several times throughout the day is just as important as taking your medications.
For example, checking your blood sugar before breakfast tells you how well your body is managing during the 8 hours you were asleep, but it doesnt tell you how well your body handles meals.
Here, well look at the best times to check your blood sugar for the most information about your diabetes management!
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Useful Tips On How To Test Blood Sugar In Dogs
Are you looking for some useful tips on how to test blood sugar in dogs?
Need helpful hacks for when you test blood sugar in your dog?
We can help…
Managing diabetes in your dogs can be very difficult. Blood glucose levels can change with food consumption, stress level, exercise, and other fundamental daily fluctuations.
You also need to be on top of any other diseases or conditions that may be harming your dogs health.
However, if you decide to go with a blood glucose monitoring system to help your pet with more accurate and frequent readings for better monitoring of the disease, make sure to consult with your veterinarian first.
How To Check Blood Sugar In 7 Simple Steps
Checking your blood sugar is a crucial part of diabetes care. Learning how to understand your bodys messages and why your blood sugar behaves the way it does will be valuable knowledge when adjusting your management. By checking your blood sugar regularly, you can gain an accurate picture of how your levels react to certain things and learn how to better regulate your sugar.
Checking your blood sugar shouldnt be overwhelming. In fact, many should incorporate checking levels into their daily routine. Levels should be checked regularly and at specific times, in order to understand what affects your blood sugar and provide the information needed. Diabetes can seem unpredictable, but through careful tracking you might start to notice patterns.
If youre looking for more information about testing, or are new to diabetes care, check out Diathrives learning center for helpful tips! The first step in diabetes care is learning how to check blood sugar, so heres how.
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What Time Of Day Should I Test
Recommendations for the best time of day to test your blood sugar depend on your medicine, mealtimes, and blood sugar control. Your doctor may provide a chart that outlines when to check your blood sugar and what level you should target. Your doctor may also suggest different goals, depending on your situation.
The chart may look something like this:
|Time to Test|
|Adjust diet or medicine|
*Depends on the size of the meal and the amount of insulin in your medicine
How Do I Measure My Blood Sugar Level
Follow your doctors advice and the instructions that come with the BGM or CGM. Different meters work differently, so be sure to check with your doctor for advice specifically for you. With a BGM, youll usually follow the steps below:
- Wash your hands and dry them well before doing the test.
- Use an alcohol pad to clean the area that youre going to prick. For most glucose meters, you will prick your fingertip. However, with some meters, you can also use your forearm, thigh, or the fleshy part of your hand. Ask your doctor what area you should use with your meter.
- Prick yourself with a sterile lancet to get a drop of blood.
- Place the drop of blood on the test strip.
- Follow the instructions for inserting the test strip into your glucose meter.
- The meter will give you a number for your blood sugar level.
If you have a CGM, youll follow the insertion directions that come with the monitor. Once its warmed up, the transmitter wirelessly sends the data to your computer or smartphone.
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How To Use Glucometer
Finally, having set the context, we will now touch the topic, which is essentially the reason we wrote this blog. So, let us start with what you would need when you use a glucometer. Well, nothing very fancy, for you will need, a sanitizer/soap and water/spirit to clean up the testing area, a test strip which you will get with the Glucometer, a lancet, a lancing device & a notebook to record results
How Can I Treat High Blood Sugar
Talk to your doctor about how to keep your blood sugar levels within your target range. Your doctor may suggest the following:
- Be more active. Regular exercise can help keep your blood sugar levels on track. Important: dont exercise if ketones are present in your urine. This can make your blood sugar go even higher.
- Take medicine as instructed. If your blood sugar is often high, your doctor may change how much medicine you take or when you take it.
- Follow your diabetes meal plan. Ask your doctor or dietitian for help if youre having trouble sticking to it.
- Check your blood sugar as directed by your doctor. Check more often if youre sick or if youre concerned about high or low blood sugar.
- Talk to your doctor about adjusting how much insulin you take and what types of insulin to use.
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